Who’s in, who’s out…

    Oct. 9, 2015

CTV News
PMO sought political gain in prioritizing certain Syrian refugees: sources

Shia and Sunni Muslims need not apply!  This startling message comes from the revelation that Stephen Harper is directing the choice of who is suitable to have refugee or immigrant status in Canada, all on what appears to be an extra-ordinary interference by the PMO in the determination process that caused both rejections and delays of UNHCR determined refugees.  As in so many control issues, the Harper government is insisting the audit they performed was directly due to security concerns around potential terrorists.   http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/election/pmo-sought-political-gain-in-prioritizing-certain-syrian-refugees-sources-1.2601028   Related article:  Globe and Mail – Joe Friesen  Prime Minister’s Office ordered halt to refugee processing   http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/prime-ministers-office-ordered-halt-to-refugee-processing/article26713562/   Related article: Globe and Mail – The refugee crisis: Four things to know before you vote   http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canada-and-the-refugee-crisis-four-things-to-know-before-youvote/article26363975/    Related article: Globe and Mail – Joe Friesen   Tories apply specific criteria for refugees   http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/tories-apply-specific-criteria-for-refugees/article26734229/     Related article: Ottawa Citizen – Lee Berthiaume    PMO’s Syrian refugee audit about more than security  http://www.canada.com/life/syrian+refugee+audit+about+more+than+security/11425261/story.html    Related article: Toronto Metro – Gilbert Ngabo   Stephen Harper put Syrian refugee lives at risk: Advocates    http://www.metronews.ca/news/toronto/2015/10/08/pmo-halt-put-syrian-refugees-at-risk.html    Related article: CBC News – Louise Elliott  Stephen Harper denies PMO staff vetted Syrian refugee files – U.S. intelligence reports suggested refugees could pose a threat  http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-election-2015-refugee-processing-pmo-1.3262423

Canada.com /Ottawa Citizen – Lee Berthiaume
Immigration had backlog of 7,500 Syrian refugee applications 

There is still much to know about the abrupt halt of processing Syrian Refugees and the audit done by the PMO.  It is still not known when the halt was lifted, if the processing has resumed and what changes may have come from the process.  There also appears to be some tension between the federal government and the UNHCR who are resisting the selection of one ethnic and religious group over another.   http://www.canada.com/news/immigration+backlog+2c500+syrian+refugee+applications/11428507/story.html   Related article: CBC News – Kathleen Harris and Brigitte Bureau    Citizenship Department leaks to media probed by RCMP – Media leaks in the heat of election campaign ‘completely unacceptable,’ officials say   http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-election-2015-citizenship-rcmp-1.3264945   Related article: Globe and Mail – Marianne Thuy Nguyen    Giving thanks, and giving back: As a refugee, I know there’s nothing more Canadian   http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/giving-thanks-and-giving-back-as-a-refugee-i-know-theres-nothing-more-canadian/article26758695/

 CBC News – Kathleen Harris
Prisoners go to the polls today in Canada – Cutbacks in correctional system a key issue for thousands of inmates 

There are about 22,000 in federal prisons or under community corrections supervision.  Voting in prisons has been done since 2002 using advanced polls set up in the prisons.  Some victims’ rights group think the inmates should forfeit their right to vote (as in the US) but most people seem to Catherine Latimer’s view.  She is the Executive Director of John Howard Society of Canada.  She says:  “I think it helps them to be engaged and to understand the rights and responsibilities that go with citizenship, and I think that helps them in terms of pro-social conduct. So I think it’s a very positive sign that prisoners are interested in voting and participating. They are members of the polity.”   http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-election-2015-prison-voting-1.3263491

National Newswatch – Tamsyn Burgmann — The Canadian Press
Politics behind Harper ad that cites mentally ill dad who killed kids: lawyers 

If the conservatives had their preference NCR’s would be sentenced to life in custody.  The theory of indefinite custody versus the current laws around the NCR is likely to be tested in the case of Allan Schoenborn, a BC father who killed his three children and was found not criminally responsible.  In electioneering in BC Stephen Harper is running a one minute radio ad in which Harper is branding Schoenborn as a criminal.  Schoenborn’s lawyer is claiming that the Harper ad is prejudicing the BC Crown’s test of the NCR legislation.  http://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2015/10/10/politics-behind-harper-ad-that-cites-mentally-ill-dad-who-killed-kids-lawyers/#.VhprnSv7G6J

Globe and Mail – Patricia White
Staff calls out Toronto South Detention Centre for crisis in inmate health care

The new provincial super prison is in the news still but specifically this time for the quality of health care services and this time by the prison staff itself.  “With a capacity of 1,650 inmates, Toronto South Detention Centre is Canada’s second-largest penal institution, but its highly touted medical infirmary didn’t open until June – 17 months after the prison began accepting inmates – due to a combination of staffing problems and design glitches.”  Critics wonder how you could open a flagship prison when medical services were 17 months behind, and personal safety of the medical staff is at issue.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/staff-calls-out-toronto-south-detention-centre-for-crisis-in-inmate-health-care/article26763123/